Google pays for 4,000 free WiFi hotspots (but not if you have an iPhone)

Google has opened its wallet and dropped some coins into the box of WiFi provider Boingo, opening up free internet access to Android devices as well as PCs and Macs at 4,000 locations in the US. The promotion, which will last until the end of September, will include coverage in 15 airports and will be co-branded with Google Play, the search giant's app download and multimedia store.

It's also the first of Boingo's new WiFi sponsorship programs, called the Cloud Nine Media platform, which will see the internet provider's connectivity subsidized by advertisers. Google appears to have opted not to offer free wireless to iOS device users (though those with a MacBook still get to go online on Google's dime) which is unlikely to endear the company to those on an iPhone or iPad.

Still, our guess is that somebody will soon figure out a workaround and everybody will be happy. Google will also be taking the opportunity to push its music, movies, books, and apps via the captive audience.

Coverage of the free WiFi will include JFK airport in New York, Chicago O'Hare, and Seattle-Tacoma, as well as select Manhattan subway stations. There's also support in various hotels, malls and restaurants; you can find a full list here